Thursday, October 17, 2013

Playing favorites: Which child is your favorite?

My son is my favorite child. He is also my only child, so I have no problems writing that sentence. But parents of multiple children may experience guilt when identifying one of their children as their "favorite."

This is a tough subject, but let's be honest here and think back to your own childhood: If you have siblings, you could tell me in an instant which of you was your mother's favorite and who was your father's favorite. It may have changed as you moved from adolescence to adulthood, and your parents may have never said it aloud, but you always knew. The favoritism may have caused tension in your sibling relationships, but hopefully you found relief in the fact you were loved and were able to let it go.

As a parent now, maybe you make a conscientious effort to treat your children fairly and ensure they never discover which of them you prefer. And that is a smart move for now, but it may affect your health later on in life.

Recent research suggests that having the non-favorite child act as caregiver to an ailing mother often leads to depression. That's right: If you are an elderly mother in need of a caregiver and your non-favorite child steps in to help you, it could lead to depression.

(I'll just let that sink in for a moment.)

Is there a way to become the favored child in adulthood? Aligning your outlook on life to match your mother's is one way. Another way is to overcome any deviant behavior. But whether you are the favored child or not, the bottom line is to accept yourself for the wonderful person you have become.

When you were growing up who was the favorite child in your family? Are you willing to admit in the comments which of your children is your favorite now?


  1. I was an only child too. But I have two boys too close in age, and one especially thinks I love the other more. He is the insecure child over all. Do I love one more than the other? Maybe that's a different question from whether I "favor" one over the other.

    1. Can I ask, Sandra, if as an only child and now an adult, you wish you had a sibling? I often wonder what only children feel about taking care of their elderly parents (when it comes to that point). Do they wish they had someone to share that experience with?

  2. I was my mom's fave child. And now the scale tends to tip towards my elder son. Everyone says it's pretty obvious!

    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

    1. Hi, Veronica. It will be intriguing to see if he remains your favorite as they get older - sometimes the favorite changes with age and how personalities develop.